Theresa of The O.C.
Indian and German descendant actress Navi Rawat first appeared on screen in 2000 as a guest in an episode of the WB teen dramedy series starring Leslie Bibb and Carly Pope, "Popular." She later became familiar to TV viewers as Theresa Diaz (2003-2006), the childhood friend and on-and-off girlfriend of Benjamin McKenzie's Ryan, on Fox teen drama series "The O.C.," and as Amita Ramanujan, an applied mathematician and FBI consultant, on CBS crime/cop drama series "Numb3rs" (2005-Present). She has also appeared in such shows as "Roswell," "24," "Fastlane," "Angel" and "Without a Trace."
On the big screen, the 5' 6" striking actress could be seen in the sci-fi Thoughtcrimes (2003), the acclaimed adaptation of House of Sand and Fog (2003), the Project Greenlight film Feast (2005) and the indie romantic comedy Loveless in Los Angeles (2006). Next, she will appear in an upcoming medical drama film titled Ocean of Pearls.
Childhood and Family:
Daughter of an Indian father (he is a Rajput) and a German mother, Navlata Rawat was born on May 2, 1981 in Malibu, California. She has a degree in English and American Literature from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.
Originally interested in writing, Navi Rawat later turned to acting and decided to make a move to Los Angeles to pursue a serious acting career. In the new destination, the aspiring actress quickly landed a manager that brought her the first acting job on television, as a guest in a February 2000 episode of the WB teen dramedy series starring Leslie Bibb and Carly Pope, "Popular."
The following year, Rawat was spotted as a guest in an episode of the sci-fi teen drama series "Roswell" and played a role in the made-for-television movie The Princess & the Marine, based on a true story about the forbidden love between a U.S. Marine (played by Mark-Paul Gosselaar), and a Bahraini princess (played by Marisol Nichols). She also landed her first film role, as a girl named Ruby, in writer/director Bobby Roth's drama comedy, Jack the Dog, starring Nestor Carbonell and Barbara Williams.
In 2002, Rawat got her first big break when she played the recurring role of Melanie on Fox critically-acclaimed TV series starring Kiefer Sutherland, "24." Afterward, she went to co-star with Jacqueline Bisset and Eric Mabius in the TV movie Dancing at the Harvest Moon, based on the novel by K.C. McKinnon.
2003 marked Rawat with her most popular role to date, as Theresa Diaz, the childhood friend and on-and-off girlfriend of Benjamin McKenzie's Ryan, on Fox teen drama series "The O.C." She first appeared in the 11th episode of the show's first season (2003) and made her last appearance in its 24th episode of the show's third season (2006).
Meanwhile, Rawat snagged her first starring film role, as a high school student who suddenly starts hearing voices in her head, ends up with misdiagnosed as violent schizophrenic and was sent to a mental institution for nine years, in Breck Eisner's little-seen science-fiction thriller Thoughtcrimes (2003). The film, also featuring Joe Flanigan and Peter Horton, reportedly was the pilot for a TV series that never materialized.
That same year, Rawat was cast alongside Ben Kingsley and Jennifer Connelly in Vadim Perelman's Oscar-nominated film adaptation of Andre Dubus III's 1999 novel, House of Sand and Fog. In the highly-praised film, she played the daughter of an Iranian (Persian) immigrant father (played by Kingsley; Shoreh Agdashloo played her mother).
Back on television, Rawat guest starred in an episode of Fox crime drama series starring Peter Facinelli, Bill Bellamy and Tiffani Thiessen, "Fastlane," the WB's Buffy spin-off starring David Boreanaz, "Angel," as Dana, a psychotic vampire slayer who slaughter James Marsters character, and CBS FBI drama series starring Anthony LaPaglia, "Without a Trace." She also appeared in the TV movie version of John Grisham's book about an attorney who leaves his high-priced firm to work for the less fortunate, The Street Lawyer, and was invited as a guest in the short-lived syndicated television talk show "On Air with Ryan Seacrest."
In 2005, Rawat snagged another notable regular role, this time as Amita Ramanujan, an applied mathematician and FBI consultant, on CBS crime/police procedural drama series "Numb3rs," alongside Rob Morrow and David Krumholtz. She first appeared in the show's pilot episode on January 23, 2005, and is likely to return in the show's upcoming fourth season, due to start airing on September 28, 2007.
During her "Numb3rs" stint, Rawat continued working in films. She played a role in writer/director Ron Carlson's comedy Tom 51 (starring Clifton Collins Jr.) and Jason Winer's 15-minute comedy The Adventures of Big Handsome Guy and His Little Friend (starring Hayes MacArthur and Jason Winer; both in 2005), in which she played an exotic ethnic woman.
She then co-starred with Krista Allen and Balthazar Getty in John Gulager-directed horror film, Feast (2006), the winning film of the third season of the hit series “Project Greenlight” contest and was executive-produced by Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Wes Craven, Chris Moore and the Maloof family. She played Heroine, a grieving yet ill-tempered mother determined to beat waves of man-eating monsters in order to get back to her daughter.
Recently, Rawat played an Indian girl trying to outrun a sheriff and his posse of zombies in Glasgow Phillips' comedic Western/suspense horror movie, Undead or Alive: a Zombedy, alongside Chris Kattan, James Denton, Chris Coppola and Billy Zane. She also co-starred with Dash Mihok and Brittany Daniel in Archie Gips' indie romantic comedy film, Loveless in Los Angeles, which was released on DVD on May 29, 2007.
Rawat has completed her upcoming film, Ocean of Pearls, a medical drama film directed by Sarab Neelam and stars Omid Abtahi.
Adding to her TV and film works, Rawat also has worked on stage. Her theater works including “The Maids,” “The Bald Soprano,” “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” “Savage Love” and “Much Ado About Nothing.”